Information for University and College Admissions Teams

Prior to lockdown, Rotherham had an unemployment rate that was three percentage points above the national average and an average wage that was 10 per cent lower than the national average. Rotherham is ranked 53rd most deprived district in England (Index of Multiple Deprivation) and the main employment in the area is within public services, care, retail and hospitality services. These sectors have been hit hard by COVID-19 and this has placed additional pressures on many of the families of our students, both financially and emotionally.

The COVID lockdown period presented significant challenges for many of our students. All students lost 4.5 hours of face to face teaching per week from 23rd March to 3rd July, teaching was delivered where possible online. Students also missed a number of assessment opportunities during this period. IT equipment was provided as far as possible where this was identified as an obstacle to engagement and learning by the student. Inevitably internet access was an ongoing issue for some students and staff. Our applications to HE Event, which supports our students in their UCAS applications had to be cancelled due to the pandemic.

Since September 2020, students have worked to a new revised timetable structure, attending full morning and/or afternoon lessons. Each course is currently delivered using a blended learning programme. This consists of 7.5 hours of classroom-based learning per fortnight, supported by small-group tuition via Microsoft Teams and 90 minutes of online independent learning. The tutorial programme is now being delivered on line which means students have lost face to face support with their UCAS application.

Teacher predicted grades have been generated using their professional judgement, a student’s potential to achieve, along with all of the internal assessment information at their disposal up to the point of lockdown, supplemented with evidence of a student’s engagement in their work to the start of October.